Gotham Chamber Opera presents Daniel Catán's 1988 opera, La hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini's Daughter), on Mondays, June 17 and 24, 2013 at 7pm at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (rain date June 25). Seating is by general admission on the lawn. Blankets and outside food will be permitted. Boxed picnic dinners will also be available for purchase. Tickets are $35 and are available at www.ticketcentral.com or (212) 279-4200. For more information visit www.gothamchamberopera.org.
The creative team for La hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini's Daughter) consists of Neal Goren (conductor), Rebecca Taichman (director), Andrew Eggert (associate director), Riccardo Hernandez (scenic design), Justin Townsend (lighting design), Anita Yavich (costume design), and Mark Dendy (choreographer). The cast stars Elaine Alvarez, Daniel Montenegro, and Weston Hurt, with Brian Downen, Jessica Grigg, Ariana Wyatt, Cassandra Zoé Velasco, and Nora Graham-Smith.
With a libretto by the Mexican Nobel Prize winner Octavio Paz, based on the classic short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, La hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini's Daughter) tells of a doctor who seeks to protect and control his daughter by keeping her locked in a garden where he experiments with poisonous plants. She is immune to them, but a carrier of their danger; when a young student falls in love with her, he is faced with the knowledge that pursuing that love will surely lead to his death. The Mexican-born Catán (1949-2011) composed in a neo-Romantic style, with long melodic lines, Debussy-like harmonies, and rich orchestrations. Though clearly contemporary, La hija de Rappaccini is as appealing as Puccini and Mozart. Also appealing are the contemporary resonances of the 160-year-old story. "An ideal can be made to serve the most horrific and inhumane causes," Catán wrote of his opera. "The 20th century has provided us with more examples than we would ever want." La hija de Rappaccini takes place at that intersection of beauty and danger. Brooklyn Botanic Garden's expansive Cherry Esplanade features two stately allees of cherry trees and borders the renowned Cranford Rose Garden, which will be in full flower in June. La hija de Rappaccini is the Garden's first staged opera presentation in its 103-year history.
Gotham Chamber Opera, now on its 11th season, is the nation's leading opera company dedicated to the highest quality productions of chamber operas rarely performed today. Its mission is to produce vibrant, fully-staged productions of works from the Baroque era to the present that are intended for intimate venues. As the only company committed solely to producing chamber opera, Gotham has a unique brand that is recognized nationally.
Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Neal Goren, Gotham Chamber Opera debuted in 2001 as Henry Street Chamber Opera, with the American premiere of Mozart's Il sogno di Scipione and, in subsequent seasons, produced such works as Purcell's Dido and Aeneas,Milhaud's Les Malheurs d'Orphee, Bohuslav Martinu's Les Larmes du Couteau and Hlas Lesa, Heinrich Sutermeister's Die schwarze Spinne, Handel's Arianna in Creta, Benjamin Britten'sAlbert Herring, and Rossini's Il Signor Bruschino. The company renamed itself Gotham Chamber opera and became an independent 501(c)3 organization in 2003.
In its first ten years, Gotham Chamber Opera has produced eighteen operas, including seven American premieres, two New York City premieres and two world premieres. Gotham Chamber Opera has partnered with notable New York and US institutions, including Lincoln Center Festival and Spoleto USA for the 2005 production of Respighi's La bella dormente nel bosco; the Morgan Library and Museum for an evening of song cycles by Janáček and Dvořák, Scenes of Gypsy Life, in 2008; and the American Museum of Natural History and the American Repertory Theater for 2010's production of Hadyn's Il mondo della luna, which featured lunar exploration video, developed by the Museum and NASA, and broadcast on the Hayden Planetarium's 180-degree dome. In March, Gotham Chamber Opera presented a sold-out run ofEliogabalo at The Box.
Gotham Chamber Opera has earned a reputation for showcasing outstanding young singers alongside established professional and world-class directors and choreographers such as Mark Morris (the 2009 production of Hadyn's L'isola disabitata), David Parsons (the New York stage premiere of Astor Piazzola's tango opera, María di Buenos Aires), Karole Armitage (the world premiere of Ariadne Unhinged), Basil Twist (La bella), Christopher Alden (Scipione andArianna in Creta), and Diane Paulus (Il mondo). In October 2010, Gotham Chamber Opera partnered with director Moisés Kaufmann and his company, Tectonic Theater Project, to co-produce the first United States stage performances of Xavier Montsalvatge's El Gato con Botasat the New Victory Theater. For the 2011-2012 season, Gotham Chamber Opera celebrated its tenth anniversary with the world premiere of Dark Sisters, by composer Nico Muhly, and a revival of Gotham's first production, Mozart's Il sogno di Scipione (1772).
For more information, visit www.gothamchamberopera.org.
Founded in 1910, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is an independent nonprofit institution committed to education, research, and the display of horticulture. BBG serves communities in New York City and internationally through its world-class gardens, extensive research collections, and numerous educational and community programs. Situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn, the Garden is home to over 12,000 kinds of plants and hosts more than 725,000 visitors annually.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Garden is closed on Mondays except public holidays. General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens (65 and older) and students with ID (with special pricing during Sakura Matsuri). Children under 12, all school groups, and Garden members are admitted free at all times. Visitor entrances are at Flatbush Avenue, 990 Washington Avenue, and Eastern Parkway. For directions, please visitbbg.org/visit/directions.